More and more women are working
According to a study by the Institut der deutschen Wirtschaft (IW Köln) 72% of all German women are working. In 2000 only 63% of the women were employed. The labor force participation rate of women in Germany is already much higher than the average by 65% of all 27 EU member countries. Only in Scandinavia more than 75% of the women have jobs. Especially there the share in working women over 40 years rose strongly from 2000 to 2011.
Compared to other EU countries, however, many German women are increasingly working part-time. This is also one of the reasons for the still large salary differentials that women had in 2011. As per the study their gross hourly wage was one quarter less than that of men. Another reason is the time-out for family reasons. Women who had suspended for the child education more than 3 years earned about 12% less than their male colleagues. However, if the women returned back to the job after less than 18 months, the difference was only 2%.
Subject to the IW Köln the reasons why still less women than men reach management positions are not only the family-related career breaks and the part-time, but also the career choice of women. In industry, these positions are often filled with people who dispose of a technical, scientific or mathematical formation.
However, only 12% of all new apprentices are women in these sectors, and 30% of new students in engineering, computer science, mathematics and science.
As companies can hardly influence the career choices and the familiar time-outs, the government should enlargen the offers for child care. This would offer women the same career and salary possibilities, not government-mandated women’s quotas or intervention in the remuneration structure.